Of Desire/Hope

Written in response to the Mali Hostage Crisis


Imagine a hotel room

a splitting open inside

a dark heat


a hymn


like sparrows
in this cavern

A dua*

being whispered

for peace.


*Dua is the muslim word for personal prayer/supplication.

by Caitlin Springer


Caitlin Springer currently resides in a small coastal town in central New Jersey, where she is serving in the United States Coast Guard. Her latest published work can be found in the Fall 2015 edition of Origins Journal.

Dear Cinderella (or To Whom It May Concern)



Little girls starving themselves brittle

and family secrets glossed in simper

abide by midnight curfews,

closing their barbed cage doors behind them.

Not women in crimson juice on taffeta,

eyes in conflagration.

Not you.




When broken birds cannot be distinguished from timber

we’re forced to burn it all.

Reducing the innocent to the ash

you dust on cheeks of snow.

A charcoal mask begging for sympathy.




Prosaic princes are so easily hoodwinked:

Plastic action figures empty

as dropped goblets just after the crash.

Disentangled from clamshell packages with box cutters,

all twist ties and tape and embalming fluid.

Ferried to yearly balls on golden gurneys

to dens of cougars and sparkle.




Shake out your librarian bun

as the dance floor rises to meet you,

for lucite shoes are nothing new

to the feet of a princess.


by Amy Friedman


Amy Strauss Friedman teaches English at Harper College and earned her MA in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Typehouse, *82 Review, Menacing Hedge, Rogue Agent, After the Pause, Fractal, Extract(s) and elsewhere. Amy lives in Chicago, where she is a regular contributor to the newspaper Newcity.


The fencer lunges forward
the opponent parries but fails
and both collide corps-a-corps
while the blades flash and clash
and leave their signatures
in oozing blood that coagulates soon.

Steamy tears in droplets
combine into streams of
hot molten lava
and flow on the obdurate terrains
digging deep furrows
that soon get lined with scabs of moss.

The keel of steel slices through
the chest of the ocean
the propellers turn and churn
slip streams spiral
leaving a gash behind in the wake
ultimately fading into a mirror that it was.

Patches of infectious  clouds
steal the blue from the skies
and jets streak past
leaving their tell tale trails
eventually to crumble and dissipate
wiping the slate once again clean.

by Dilip Mohapatra

Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies . His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute worldwide. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 and 2014 Editions. He has three poetry collections to his credit, the latest titled ‘Another Look’ recently published by Authorspress India. His fourth book P2P nee Points to Ponder is a departure from his poetic passion and is a collection of his musings on various themes which are meant to act as points in a mariner’s compass helping the reader to navigate his life better in rough waters. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune. His website may be accessed at dilipmohapatra.com.

On Receiving a Life-Threatening Diagnosis

Has Death asked me to step out on the floor? For a tango,

long and difficult? Will I need attitude, strength

to learn new steps?


I don’t expect a polka. With luck a waltz, a whirl

of warm music in which I’ll get lost rising

and sinking in my partner’s arms.


If the evening is long, I’d like breaks. Catch breath

on a chair pushed back from foxtrotters. Fade

with wallflowers.


But it might be a marathon that ends with collapse,

then the rat-a-tat-tat of his tap dance

for which I have no shoes.


by Catherine Gonick

Catherine Gonick’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Caveat Lector, Crack the Spine, decomP, DIAGRAM, Front Porch Review,  Ginosko, Amarillo Bay, Word Riot, Soul-Lit, Sukoon, Forge, Jet Fuel Review, Notre Dame Review, and Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Her poetry has also appeared in the Crack the Spine Winter 2015 Anthology. She was awarded the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize for Poetry.

Ashlie Allen

Blood Clot


Through pink tinted lamp light,

I tilt in the chair,

hair sliding off my shoulders

until my countenance is black

with Japanese heritage


Last night, I woke myself up laughing

Your eyes, ivory with silver shimmer, fell on me

I cradled them until they busted

like a blood clot being bitten


You said “I can see you always.”

“Quit staring.” I moaned in response

“I feel ugly all the time.”


If I let my weight bring me to my knees

and my cheek scrape against the carpet,

I think I will feel pitiful in a sensuous way



Muscle Dust


I tilt against the lace curtain,

pale with exhaustion, half singing,

half moaning


The scarecrow argues

that I am dying and need a friend

to take care of me


Of course, he is just hay and rotten garments

He does not understand I am a muscle that absorbs

negativity and dust and

that I do not care if there is an infection

inside of me, or if I am too quiet to realize

I am alive


by Ashlie Allen

Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. Her favorite book is “The Vampire Lestat” by Anne Rice.

Here’s what I remember

A hooker with the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians tattooed on her side.

Four hundred thirty six Crown Royal bags.

How much I hate stuffed olives.

Not dating Jane Fonda.

Ted Bundy’s last meal.

Arguing from design using a cockroach.

God being ambidextrous.

The never ending generosity of drinkers trying to pick up women in a bar.

A billboard: “My gastric sleeve changed my life.”

George Sanders’ suicide note, beginning “Dear World” and ending “Good Luck!”

The girl I fucked in High School who became a mortician.

Hubie Houston USN (Ret.)–the first man to fire a rocket from a plane.

Contracting food poisoning from bad manna.

The serpent’s side of the story.

Using a fly swatter as a swizzle stick.

On the plus side:
never throwing gum in a urinal.

Visiting Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Peter Lorre in a sliding drawer.

A man at the Salvation Army swimming pool telling me this is the best day of his life.

Screwing my wife and having her say: “Just finish your business.”

Passing out in the Seat of Scoffers.

Memory being an identikit.

Remembering too much.

Not forgetting enough.


Getting off with a warning.


by G. Geis


D.G. Geis divides his time between Houston and the Hill Country of Central Texas. He has an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in philosophy from California State University. His poetry has appeared in 491 Magazine, Lost Coast, Blue Bonnet Review and is forthcoming in the November/December issue of The Broadkill Review.


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